Pope Francis calls Ukraine war a “perverted abuse of power”

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Pope Francis today raised the tone of his criticism of Russia, calling the war in Ukraine a “perverted abuse of power” that is being waged for partisan interests, which has condemned the defenseless people to violence.

The pope did not name Russia in his remarks, but used phrases such as “unacceptable armed aggression” to convey his message.

“The tragedy of the war unfolding in the heart of Europe has left us shocked,” he said, adding that few people could have imagined scenes similar to the two world wars of the 20th century.

His statement came as a message from a Catholic church meeting in Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, one of the countries bordering Ukraine, which has opened its doors to refugees.

“Once again humanity is threatened by a perverted abuse of power and by discriminatory interests that condemn defenseless people to suffer any form of barbaric violence,” the pope said.

Moscow claims that its actions are a “special military operation” aimed not at occupying territories, but at the demilitarization and “de-Nazification” of its neighboring country.

The pope has rejected the term, however, saying it could not be considered “just a military operation”, but a war that has liberated “rivers of blood and tears”.

“The blood and tears of children, the pain of women and men defending their land or fleeing their country to escape the bombings shakes our conscience.”

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